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Israel: Slight delay to Minneola season

Unseasonably warm weather in Israel has delayed coloring on portions of the Minneola crop this season, and as a result, some of the crop might be a little late. But with Dutch retailers eagerly awaiting the start of the import season, it's expected that there will be adequate supplies of fruit by the new year.

“We are facing a little bit of a delay this season,” said Oron Ziv, general manager for Mehadrin in Holland. Coloring on fruit has not progressed as it normally does, so some fruit is being held back until it takes on the correct appearance. Ziv explained that the delay has been caused by temperatures not being cool enough to encourage the fruit to change color.

“The issue with the color has to do with not getting cool temperatures at night, and when that happens, the fruit is not really changing and it delays coloring,” he said. But despite the delay, he is confident they'll fulfill all of their commitments once the Minneola import window opens up in January, and that's a good thing, considering the growing demand for the fruit.

“We see the demand for Minneolas growing in Holland,” said Ziv. “The consumers there are very much in favor of the fruit.” Further adding to strong demand, a shaky clementine season in Spain has left many European countries hungry for citrus fruit, and Ziv believes retailers will turn to Minneolas to meet consumer demand.

Though Ziv noted that they'll have enough supplies to fulfill their predetermined contracts with retailers in Holland, he said that volumes of fruit out of Israel have been lower this year, so he doesn't see demand diminishing this season.

“There will probably be around 20 percent less Minneolas than last year,” said Ziv. With Mehadrin being the largest shipper of Minneolas from Israel, Ziv estimated they'll send about 5,000 tons of fruit to Europe this year. He believes that will hold the Dutch market through February, when the import season typically closes in Holland, after which Peruvian Minneolas should arrive on the market by July. But for now, he's concentrating on this season, which, despite a minor delay, he believes will turn out well.

“Minneolas are popular in Holland, and I think it's because of the taste: it's the right combination of tart and sweet,” he said. “So the Dutch people really like it.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
MTEX Holland B.V.
Tel: +31 180 642 570
Fax: +31 180 642 571

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